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General Interest Mash Questions

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SJW

As you must brew, so you must drink
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1- What do we all do with the grain after mashing?
And how do we do it?
I have found that dumping it in a large garbage bag and putting in the bin can be vey messy, especially if the bag gets a leak in it i end up with a big mess in the bottom of my bin. Just wondering if anyone uses it in a compost heap or does something smart with it.

2- A little more technical. With Beersmith it does all the mash vol. calcs for u but the last note says to top up to required boil vol. with tap water. Rather than use fresh water would'nt it be a better idea just to keep sparging until u reach the required boil vol?
 

Trough Lolly

"Drink, Feck, Arse, Girls"!
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SJW said:
2- A little more technical. With Beersmith it does all the mash vol. calcs for u but the last note says to top up to required boil vol. with tap water. Rather than use fresh water would'nt it be a better idea just to keep sparging until u reach the required boil vol?
If you just sparged until you reached preboil volumes you risk leaching tannins and astringency out of the grains into your wort.
Its like using a tea bag three or four times...
Sugars in grains are pretty water soluble and if you keep plugging away with washing /sparging the grains you will get some crappy wort out of them. A lot of brewers stop sparging when their runoff gets down to about 1.020.
Perhaps you might want to consider batch sparging to achieve your desired boil volume :ph34r: [flame jacket on]!
TL
 

AndrewQLD

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Q 1: I always dump my spent grains into the compost bin, and if I am working a new vege patch the grains go straight into that.

Q2: Beersmith says to top up boiler rather than adding more water to the sparge because of the risk of oversparging and tanin extraction. Also Some people will only sparge until the wort drops to a gravity of 1.010 or higher so it is necessary to add water to the boiler to bring up your boil volume.

Andrew
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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My grains go in the compost too, the rats love it :D !

I have found that with Beersmith I can calculate my exact volume of mash liquor and sparge liquor to get to my pre-boil volume which for my set up is 29 litres. This took a few brews to get sorted of course.
As long as you can get repeatable efficiencies you should hit your target OG give or take a point or two.

C&B
TDA
 

Doc

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Spent grains go in the garden waste bin. I drilled a couple of small holes in the bottom to allow some of the excess water to drain out. (The bin sits on the side of the garden).

As for top up water, I've never had to add it. Like TDA says if you calculate your session properly in Beersmith or Promash you should get the quantity of wort you need pre-boil. Typically I've got my pre-boil volume and the runoff is around 1.015-1.020.

Beers,
Doc
 

Darren

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chooks love spent grains too! I currently throw them in the mulch heap. Keeps the neighbours cat happy. He has a constant supply of fat pigeons to torment.
 

SJW

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In that case you must need to be mashing at a ratio of about 3.5:1 or greater. If the water extra water does not come from a little extra sparging it can only come from the mash to reach boil vol's.
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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SJW, I mash at a 3 to 1 ratio. Take the following senario:

Brewing a beer with say 5kgs of grain in the mash tun.
Mash water needed= 5 x 3 = 15 litres
First runnings collected after the Mash = 15 - (5 x 1.1) litres as grain absorbs about 1.1L/kg in the mash = 9.5 litres.
Sparge water needed to get to pre boil volume of 29 litres : 29 - 9.5 = 19.5 litres. :)

The beauty about BeerSmith and ProMash is you can calculate final boil gravity using a refractometer or hydrometer once you know what your evaporation rate is during the boil. If your pre-boil gravity is a little high then you can add some water or if it is low you can boil for longer, this will affect you final volume in the fermenter. Once you have your efficiencies sorted you won't even need to do this.

Hope I haven't confused you or anyone else. :rolleyes:

PM me if you want some clarification.

C&B
TDA
 

SJW

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OK i got 4.2kg's of grain, Beersmith says mash with 10.95 litres of water & mash out with 6.13 litres & sparge with 16.84 litres. Now i have set my final vol to 25 litres and Beersmith has worked out (based on equip) that the boil vol is 29.72. With all the water in the mash tun less what the grain soaks up i should have a pre boil vol of about 29 litres ........... litltle bit of thinking............................ok
less a bit for the boil, like 4 litres i should end up with about 25 litres, without adding top up water.

OK Beersmith was correct and i am a dick. i should not need to add any water anyway. I guess this is the beauty of being able to do full vol boils.
 

SJW

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I guess the unknown is how much is lost in the boil, due to how long & hard you go for...............steady boys
 

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